Golfer's dream about to happen

By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au

A DREAM to play professional golf is just touching distance away for golf trainee Dion Hayne.

Hayne graduates as a PGA (Professional Golf Association) professional in Brisbane on December 20 after three years as a trainee under the tutelage of respected local professional Bill Webb.

A future as a professional golfer awaits for the modest 36-yearold Hayne who has earned a rep-utation as a top-class coach over the past three years. The chance at 33 to become a professional golfer necessitated a change of career for the former boat-builder and he has not regretted the move.

"I always had the goal to become a professional golfer and when Bill offered me the chance as a trainee, I was happy to take it ? I haven't regretted it for a minute, its a great way of life.

"I have had great support all the way through, there were two guys at Miriam Vale Colin Bates and Rick Phillips who gave me the guidance needed in golf to start with, while Bill is a world of knowledge and great inspiration,'' Hayne said.

Dion holds the course records at the Gladstone and Miriam Vale golf courses and is busy preparing for his first tournament in Papua New Guinea in March.

"I am looking forward to playing over there, the courses in Port Moresby and Lae are fantastic and it should be a lot of fun,'' he said.

The move to become a professional golfer is expected come gradually for Dion who will play part-time in 2005 and continue as a full-time coach at the Calliope and BITS golf clubs.

"I will base myself here next year and still coach as well as play on a part-time basis ? the goal is to try and qualify for the New Zealand and Australian PGA's and make the Von Nida tour next year,'' he said.

For Webb, Dion's graduation from trainee to professional gives him great satisfaction having had two trainees in the past go on to higher honours.

"Dion has done a great job in his time here, he has a great work ethic and is fantastic with his coaching of the junior golfers ? it has been a pleasure to work with and he deserves success,'' Webb said.



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